With cycling growing in popularity across the UK, could electric bikes be the bridge needed to convince motorists to ditch four wheels for two?
Some people love them, others loathe them. But for anyone considering following Bob Dylan’s lead and go electric, then we’ve rounded up 10 of the best reasons to try an electric bicycle.
And, if you’ve ridden electric before, leave us a message in the comment box at the bottom of the post to describe your experience.
It’s a common misconception that on an electric bike you will sit there and let the motor do all the work. Of course the point of an electric bike is that you’re not relying solely on pedal power alone but the beauty of your new ride is that you have the option of either coasting or putting in the work yourself.
2) Perfect introduction
Because you have the option of either peddling or letting the bike do the work, many people view electric bikes as the ideal introduction to the world of cycling, especially if you are looking to ease yourself into a new fitness regime.
3) Beat the hill/headwind
Some people love battling against the terrain and the elements, but, as satisfying as it may feel to conquer, you don’t always want to be a sweaty mess when you arrive at your destination. E-bikes can help make that hill or headwind a hell of a lot more manageable without the excess effort.
By giving up the car to make short journeys and stepping onto an electric bike, you will be reducing your carbon footprint hugely. The average Co2 emissions of a new car in 2013 was 128.3g/km and if you replace some of the journeys that you would usually hop in the car for then you can cut that figure massively and help the environment.
5) Faster travel
You may find on your new electric bike that you are able to get around faster than you could before. You have the benefit of an electric motor to power you along as well as being on a nimble bike instead of in a car stuck in traffic. Of course if you have the need for speed then there is an electric bike to suit you. EZRiders ‘Mega’ bike can reach speeds of 25kph without pedalling, so if you are in a hurry there is only one way to go.
Think of how expensive being a motorist is, or how pricey public transport is. If you can replace your commute with an electric bike you will make huge savings – they require no tax, insurance or licensing. You just get up and go.
On a similar note, think about how much petrol costs you. If your car is very economical then you might get, say, 50mpg. On some electric bikes you are looking at the equivalent of up to 2,000mpg in terms of watts used per-mile.
You probably have a preconception about electric bikes. Well forget it. The new breed of bikes look completely different, and can give a few of their easy-on-the-eye road-racing cousins a run for their money. EZRiders are a good example of how good they can really look.
Another misconception is that you won’t be able to get very far between each charge of your bike. Wrong again. Most bikes will achieve around 30 miles between trips to the socket, a number which is extended by added pedal power. Perfect for commuting and short trips, then.
This is interesting. According to atob.org.uk, 46% of conventional bikes are used just twice a week, with a further 30% used once every two weeks. However 81% of electric bike users use their bike at least once a week. Buy electric and you are more likely to use it rather than let it gather dust in the shed.
If you have ridden an electric bike, please let us know what your experience was like in the comment section below.